MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama's unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December, the lowest point since the coronavirus pandemic began ravaging the state's economy, the state said Friday.
Cullman County had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.1%, but after several months of below 100 weekly claims, Cullman has seen a rise of more than 120 for the first two weeks in January.
The monthly jobless rate declined by one-half percent from November's rate of 4.4%, according to a statement from the Department of Labor. But the rate was still well above the December 2019 number of 2.7% even with the improvement.
Nationally, the unemployment rate remained stuck at a still-high 6.7%. The preliminary, seasonally adjusted state rate represented 87,534 unemployed persons statewide in December compared to 100,374 people the month before.
There is still "a lot more work to be done" in restoring the state's job base, Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said.
"More than 26,000 Alabamians are unemployed now than at the same time last year. We are still down more than 34,000 jobs from last year. Our work in 2021 will be focused on continuing this recovery," he said.
Following Cullman County with the state's lowest unemployment rate are Franklin, Marshall and Shelby counties at 2.2%. Wilcox County in rural western Alabama was highest with a jobless rate of 10.6%.
The Cullman Times contributed to this story.